I think it would be fair to say we got pretty lucky with the summer weather this year. Plenty of sunshine, warm weather and lots of ice cream. However, like always in the UK it is coming to an end quicker than we would all like, the nights are getting darker earlier, there is a drop-in temperature and the rain has come pouring back over us all.
And with the drop-in temperature it means it’s coming closer to the time when we all need to start wrapping up warm and turning the heating back on. Here are some things you should do before turning your heating on!
- Get your boiler serviced
You should aim to have your boiler serviced every year by a Gas Safe registered boiler engineer. By doing this it will highlight any issues you may have with your boiler.
- Gradually switch your boiler back on
If you haven’t turned on the radiator all summer, aim to turn it on once or twice over the next month to prevent a build-up of dust.
- Give the radiators a hoover
By doing this you can remove any build-up of dust, this will be beneficial for anyone who suffers with breathing difficulties and hay fever. Dust and fluff are also extremely flammable.
- Bleed your radiators
By doing this you will remove any trapped air, which can affect the efficiency of your radiator.
- Don’t turn the heat up too fast
This can waste energy and money as it doesn’t make it heat up any quicker, it only reaches a higher temperature.
- Go draught hunting
Unwanted gaps leak all warm air through windows, doors and walls. A simple way of blocking draughts is to get a good set of curtains as this will insulate the windows, and a draught excluder is a great way to stop any draughts coming through doors.
- Get your timings right
It is pointless having the heating on when no one is in the house, so if you know the rough time of when the first person will be home set up a timer for the heating to come on 20 minutes before. It’s also a good idea to set the timer for 20 minutes before you would wake up in the morning.
- Insulate your loft
Heat travels upwards, where it stops is up to you. Having an uninsulated loft can cause up to a quarter of heat to be lost. Even if you do have a minimum insulated loft, upping it from 100mm to the recommended 210mm can dramatically slash your heating bill and keep your house warmer.
- Put a jumper on!
An oldie but a goodie! A jumper can add up to 4 degrees Celsius of warmth to the body meaning you won’t have to put the heating on for as long or at a higher temperature, saving you some money.
As the chillier nights are coming in we are also nearing the time of bonfire night. A night full of bonfires and fireworks, there are fantastic firework displays all over the country which bring joy and delight to young children, teenagers, adults and the elderly alike.
Did you know?
- A firework can travel at speeds up to 150mph, the speeds some large planes travel at.
- If three sparklers burn together, they will do so at the same temperature as a blowtorch used on joining metal.
- Throwing a firework is a criminal offence and you can receive a fine of up to £5,000 for doing so.
How a responsible adult should light a firework safely:
- Lay out the fireworks whilst standing on their bottoms or stand. There should be no flammable materials or plants nearby.
- Warn everyone around to stand well back.
- Light the firework and walk away safely.
- Once the firework has gone off and it is time to clean up, put the used fireworks in a bucket of cold water.
- When the night is over it is safe to put the wet fireworks in the bin!
DOS AND DON’TS
Bonfire night is one of the most exciting nights of the year. However, it is important to keep safe whilst attending a bonfire event. There are certain things you should do and certain things you shouldn’t.
DO stand far away from the fire and the fireworks
DON’T go near a firework after it has been lit
DO light only one sparkler at a time and do so at an arm’s length away
DON’T go near a firework after it has gone off, leave it to the responsible adult to clean up
DO keep your cats and dogs inside on bonfire nights, the loud noises can upset them
DON’T give sparklers to children under the age of 5
DO keep a bucket of water at the ready for emergencies
DON’T light fireworks after 11pm, as this is illegal